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Posts Tagged ‘ageism’

That Was It!

I often get ideas for posts and I get all riled up about them but I’m not near my laptop so I don’t write them. Then when I am ready to write, I can’t figure out what I was going to write. That’s about where I’ve been for awhile. In fact, my laptop has been no where near me. I haven’t even charged it since February. I pulled it out and of course, it was dead as a door nail (door nail, just what is that). Now it’s charged and I wanted to write this post that I have been thinking of but I don’t remember exactly what else I was going to write on the subject, which I sort of began on Mother’s Day.

The idea is that I often feel (and know others do too) like I’m no longer useful because I’m now old. It seems to be that  no one wants to hear what I have to say. It doesn’t matter that I have experience in what I’m saying. For example, in groups of young mothers, what I have to say has no merit because I don’t currently have little ones. It doesn’t matter that I have had them or that I have gone through what they are going though. They just don’t seem to be interested in what anyone older than their age has to say.

I often get that when I read certain blogs and leave comments. I might leave a long and detailed comment that is right on target with what is being discussed in the blog post and the comment thread but no one even acknowledges it because I’m old and what I have to say has no bearing, if they even read it!

It’s frustrating. It’s aggravating. It’s also depressing.

There’s more to say on the subject. I’ll probably come back to it.

How about you? Have you been in a situation where, instead of being appreciated for imparting certain information from your own experience, you’re ignored because you’re in a different group (age, gender, economic, educational, etc.)?  How does it feel?

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There’s a song that was featured in the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics that has a special place in my heart. It’s the classic bossa nova tune, The Girl From Ipanema. While I have loved that song since the first time I heard it in the 60’s, I didn’t know much of the background. I just knew I loved it. When I was a senior in high school, I competed in the Junior Miss Pageant in my home town of San Jose, California. When we entered the auditorium from the back, we sauntered down the aisle to the front of the auditorium and up the stairs to take the stage and we did so to The Girl From Ipanema and so it became even more special to me.

It has been on my mind since the other night, the night it was featured in the opening ceremonies. Today, I decided to write about it and went hunting for the lyrics and instead found some background info on the song. I discovered that it inspired by an actual girl, only 17 at the time the song was written. Quoting Wikipedia, “She would sometimes enter the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother and leave to the sound of wolf-whistles.  In the winter of 1962, the composers saw the girl pass by the bar. Since the song became popular, she has become a celebrity.” The “she” is Helô Pinheiro who is now 71 years old. As I watched a video of her talking about how excited she was that the song was in the opening ceremony, I was somewhat angered because, even at 71 Pinheiro is a beauty. She could have easily been the one that sauntered across the stage while the song played, instead of the young model. In fact, she should have been the one. Instead, she was not even invited to the event. I guess they felt she was too old. That’s unfortunate because it’s another slap in the face of women all over the world who are discarded once they reach a certain age.I guess Americans are not the only ones that do that.

Read the wikipedia article. It’s very interesting. And watch the video for yourself and see if you don’t agree with me that she should have been the one to strut across that stage the other night.

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I keep thinking about an incident that happened in 2000 that keeps popping up.  It bothers me.  I’m not sure it should.  I’ve not mentioned it to anyone but I think I’m ready to write about it.  I think it will be soon. Why? I think it has been bothering me because it’s important.  It’s an important issue, especially for women, and clearly for young women.  So I will get busy on that and see if I can organize my thoughts.  Or maybe just tell it like it happened and let you decide what is important about it and why.

Another thing that has been on my mind is age.  I know I am not a spring chicken.  I am the first to tell my age…59.  I’ll be 60 in a few short months.  I used to think that was old but now as it approaches, I have come to realize that it’s just another in an ever escalating list of numbers. It doesn’t mean that I’m done. It doesn’t mean that I should go hide away in a corner and stay quiet. It doesn’t mean that I have nothing to say.  It doesn’t mean that no one should listen to me.  But that’s how I feel at times, more and more so.  It seems that people see an older person and instead of thinking “gee, I wonder what I can learn from this person”, they think something like “oh they’re so out of it; they’re over the hill and I don’t have anything to learn by listening to them.”  I guess it’s natural for the younger ones to ignore the wisdom of the older ones. But I don’t like it.  I don’t ignore those older than me. There are a lot of older bloggers out there…yeah, older than me!  They have something of value to say and I will listen to them.  There are also a lot of much younger than me bloggers with a lot to say that I want to hear. If I can help them and support them in any way, even if it as just a cheerleader or a surrogate mom, I’m there.

School.  It’s starting up again.  Well, local kids have another month before they start but I know that in California, they start this week.  In some places they already started last week. Whenever they start, it always seems bittersweet to me.  It’s the end of free time, learning from doing time, fun time, for them. It’s the end of playing in the street until long after the sun has set.  As such, it’s a melancholy time.  Yet, it’s the beginning of new learning.  It’s the beginning of new friends and a new teacher or two.  For many, it’s the beginning of a new school experience.  It’s the beginning of change.  It’s the beginning of widening horizons.  That’s a promising thing.  I remember loving it.  I was always happier during the school year.  It gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of accomplishment and of promise.

I guess that’s what’s on my mind today.  And I have a little five year old telling me that he wants to go get his hair cut because it’s in his eyes again.  So I guess that’s the next thing for today!

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